placeholder image

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports


Why chances of 49ers keeping Brandon Aiyuk have increased in recent weeks

Mar 7, 2024 at 8:45 AM


Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
Few expected the NFL salary cap to increase by an unprecedented $30.6 million over last year's mark. Some NFL teams were hoping it might approach $250 million, but they were still not expecting it to reach such heights. So, the league announcing that the 2024 salary cap was being set at $255.4 million came as a pleasant surprise.

A lack of a sufficient increase meant competitive teams that were in danger of surpassing the cap limit, such as the San Francisco 49ers, might have had to sacrifice some cohesion from last season to the next. However, that may no longer be the issue with a higher salary cap in place.

While the 49ers remain close to the cap limit, they now have better options to create some breathing room. This will likely come in the form of contract restructures, spreading out salary over future seasons to add some surplus this year. Of course, teams need to be strategic with this approach to ensure they avoid salary cap trouble down the road.

San Francisco has been planning for two significant action items—Brandon Aiyuk's contract extension this offseason and Brock Purdy's next offseason. The salary cap increase makes the Aiyuk situation this year more flexible.

"The San Francisco 49ers have a better chance of being able to keep their Super Bowl team together," ESPN's Dan Graziano explained while discussing the ramifications of the salary cap increase. "San Francisco is still going to need to restructure a contract or two -- maybe offensive tackle Trent Williams or edge rusher Arik Armstead -- to get under the cap, but carrying receiver Brandon Aiyuk on his $14.124 million fifth-year option seems more palatable now than it did a couple of weeks ago."

Entering the offseason, many wondered if the 49ers might have to trade Aiyuk to prevent an unfavorable salary cap situation in the future. Graziano certainly saw that as a possibility, suggesting last month that the chances of Aiyuk ending up in another uniform were much higher than zero.

Graziano added, "A lower cap might have forced the Niners to consider trading Aiyuk if they couldn't get him extended, but the higher number buys some time to figure it out."

Last week, general manager John Lynch was asked about the increased salary cap and how it impacts the Aiyuk negotiations.

"Well, I think that was a welcome sight that the cap was going up," Lynch responded at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "I think the thing you have to understand, it went up for everyone, so it's not unique to our team. But we have some challenges. We have a lot of good players, a lot of good players who we've rewarded.

"Brandon's one that we think incredibly highly of, one of my favorite guys around our building, the way he approaches the game. He's a competitor. He's a warrior. ... And I think we've got a nice track record of extending the players that are important to us, and Brandon's a guy we want to keep around for a long time."
Enjoy this article? Follow us to never miss more!

Powered by Follow.it


Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News


placeholder image

49ers and WR Brandon Aiyuk reportedly not close on a new contract

By Marc Adams
May 19

The San Francisco 49ers need wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. And Aiyuk needs the 49ers. But the two sides are reportedly not close on a new deal that would keep the star receiver in San Francisco for years to come. Sunday morning, on SportsCenter, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the 49ers and Aiyuk are not close in contract negotiations, leading many to wonder if Aiyuk will hold out (not show up) or hold in (show up but not participate) for the remainder of the offseason and even training camp. "This one's tricky because he was implicated in some trade talks around the draft," Fowler said. "He wants a new contract; has one year left. I'm told the 49ers certainly are open to doing a deal, but talks have not progressed enough where things are close. And


placeholder image

49ers OTAs: Ricky Pearsall could benefit from Brandon Aiyuk's absence

By David Bonilla
May 20

While the San Francisco 49ers reported for organized team activities (OTAs) today, reporters won't get a glimpse of practice until tomorrow. That is the first and only session this week open to the media. Everyone will be on the lookout for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who isn't required to report as this phase of the offseason remains voluntary. Aiyuk and the 49ers are still negotiating a contract extension, but reports over the weekend indicate that the two sides remain far apart. "I'm told the 49ers certainly are open to doing a deal, but talks have not progressed enough where things are close," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler stated. "And so, is he going to show up for their workouts?


placeholder image

Report: Brandon Aiyuk expected to skip 49ers OTAs as contract talks remain far apart

By David Bonilla
May 21

It's hardly surprising news, but NFL Network's Mike Garafolo confirmed what many anticipated: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is unlikely to report to Santa Clara for organized team activities (OTAs), which commenced yesterday. The team's first practice open to the media will be held this afternoon. Garafolo points out that the two sides appear to remain far apart in the negotiation process, with Aiyuk seeking a long-term deal that makes him one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL. "So don't expect to see Aiyuk around for anything that's voluntary," Garafolo shared on NFL Network's "The Insiders" show. "And let's see about the mandatory stuff as well with him because you know he wants this done. He doesn't want to have to play on the last


placeholder image

Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings absent from 49ers OTAs

By David Bonilla
May 21

In what will probably be the least surprising news of the day, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is absent as the San Francisco 49ers begin their first practice of organized team activities (OTAs) open to the media. While it's the first chance for reporters to see the full roster in action, Aiyuk is notably missing, as negotiations for a contract extension with the 49ers reportedly remain at an impasse. Also absent is wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who has yet to sign his $4.89 million restricted free-agent tender. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025. WRs Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings are not present


Latest

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone